I have thirty days left in this pregnancy. Thirty. THIRTY! Um. Thirty, people. Actually, it will probably be less than thirty because I already feel like I'm carrying this baby between my knees.
This may be my freak out moment. Seeing the little counter on my sidebar telling me I only have 30 Days To Go = Freak out!
What was I thinking? Four kids? Am I nuts?
I think I have a freak out moment during each of my pregnancies. I specifically remember my freak out moment when I was pregnant with Joey. I was home from work on my lunch break and I was making myself a sandwich. As I was started to eat it hit me that soon I will be taking care of another little HUMAN BEING. Every time I wanted to make myself something to eat I would have to make something for this little person FIRST. I would never again be able to just quick grab a sandwich and run out the door. I would be making someone else three meals (HA! If only I knew then how much my boys eat) a day for, like, I don't know, forever! I started hyperventilating. For some reason thinking about constantly feeding a helpless little person really freaked me out.
It didn't last long. The freak out, I mean. And I am not freaking out on the same level this time. I think it is more of a "am I ready for baby yet?" kind of a thing.
I've tried to wrap up some loose ends. I definitely need more baby outfits. I haven't even started crocheting her pretty pink blanket yet. I haven't washed any of the clothes that I do have for her. Actually, the more I think about it, the more I feel like freaking out.
I have finally filled out my preregistration form and birth plan (like anyone ever reads that anyway) for the hospital. It got me thinking about my last three births and how this one might go. All of my births have been so different from each other that I have no way of predicting what kind of labor and delivery I might have. I know enough to keep my plan open. None of my births went according to plan.
Do you like birth stories as much as I do? Want to hear mine? If not, skip to the end. If so, this is what my last three labors were like:
Birth #1- I went into labor 5 days before my due date while Todd and I were watching "A Haunting in Connecticut". I got so scared at one point that I jumped up in the air and almost landed on the floor. I told Todd that if I kept watching I may go into labor and 10 minutes later my water broke.
A half an hour after my water broke (even though we only live 2 blocks from the hospital it took a while to get there because I hadn't packed a bag yet. Oops) I was at the hospital and my contractions were really starting to pick up. They went from light cramps to back labor that was one solid contraction with no breaks in between. The nurse kept asking how far apart the contractions were and I told her they never stopped. I was beginning to hyperventilate. I couldn't stand or sit or anything. I just kept pacing around the room saying, "This is CRAZY!"
A little while after I arrived at the hospital I managed to lie down long enough to let the nurse check me and I was already 7 cm dilated. No wonder I had been having one solid contraction. I was told that the anesthesiologist lived a half an hour away and because it was 11:00 at night and snowing if I wanted drugs they had to call him now. I told them I would hold off and as soon as the nurse left the room Todd looked at my pacing, hyperventilating self and told me to get the drugs. So we had the nurse call the doc in. While we waited the nurse gave me IV meds to "take the edge off". But there were still edges everywhere! Those drugs don't work. I needed the good stuff.
By the time the drug man arrived I was almost 10 cm and could not get the epidural so they gave me a spinal instead. Shortly after I began to push.
I swear the drug man just injected me with sugar water or something because I could feel everything. I pushed, and pushed, and pushed and finally the doctor on call (not my doc but another wily, old veteran) told me the baby was face up instead of face down (hence the back labor). So trusty, old, on-call doc reached up my nethers and turned the baby around. That felt awesome! Not. So I began pushing again. After two hours of pushing the doc decided that baby was stuck coming around "the corner" and wanted to try using the vacuum.
Now a whole new set of problems was about to happen. First of all, they couldn't find a suction cup thingie small enough for me. Huh? Whatever. They had to go find some special one, and when they did the doc couldn't attach it properly because I was too swollen. He kept saying, "This has never happened before." Great. Thanks. Then the dude goes and drops the suction on the floor and off the nurses go in search of ANOTHER specially sized do-hickey. Lovely. So, they finally get the right size, and get it attached, and I push for about another half and hour. At one point I told the doctor that it felt like my tailbone was going to break to which he replied, "Well, that could happen." WHAT? I actually sat straight up and said to him, "WHY? WHY on EARTH would you tell me that right now? You want me to push after that???" I was pretty upset. Somehow I pushed anyway.
And finally, after two hours of labor (very short, I know) and three and a half hours of pushing (very long, I know) Joseph was born with his umbilical cord wrapped tightly around his neck. He was fairly healthy except for the huge black and blue, bloody bruise he had on his head from the vacuum. Poor little guy. They set him on my chest for a few seconds while they cleaned him off and then took him to a warmer. A little while later I was able to hold him and I didn't let him go for a long time.
My recovery was horrible. I couldn't sit, stand, or lie down comfortably for almost two months, but because this was my first baby I didn't know that was unusual. When I told my doctor about that at my 6 week check up he confirmed that I did indeed break my tailbone. Lovely.
Birth #2- It was almost two weeks before my due date when Todd got up at 6:00 a.m. on a Monday morning to go to work and I decided to skip sleeping in for an extra hour like I normally did and got up with him. I had been having some strange gas pains that would come and go and I just wasn't comfortable lying down anymore.
After a few minutes I realized I didn't have gas and the pains kept coming and going. I started timing them and they were about 5-7 minutes apart. When the intensity started to pick up I figured I may be in labor and called my mom. I wasn't sure I wanted her to come over yet, because I wasn't even sure I was in labor. The last time my water broke and I knew for sure, but this was all new to me. Plus I had some resting time in between the contractions and that was something I wasn't used to either.
Still, my mom and dad arrived a few minutes later and off to the hospital Todd and I went. We got to the hospital at about 7:00 and the nurse checked me right away. I was 8 cm. I couldn't believe it. The contractions kept up good and strong, but with the few minutes of a break in between them this labor seemed like a piece of cake compared to the first one. I opted to go completely natural with only ice chips to sooth me. Watching the video of me during the labor is so funny because I look so calm, making jokes, and laughing. I even remember saying, "Is this what labor is usually like? I can TOTALLY do this. Piece of cake!" We couldn't even video the first labor because I was too busy digging holes in Todd's arms with my fingers, crazy with pain.
Shortly before 8:00 I started pushing. Wow. I thought the pushing hurt with the spinal, but this was insane! The next thing I know the doctor on call (again, not my doctor, but a super sweet, awesome, and supportive lady I grew to love) is telling the nurse to hit the call button and calling some kind of code for a bunch of nurses to come in and help. Four more nurses run into the room, Todd gets pushed to the back corner of the room, and two nurses on each side of me jump on top of the bed and begin pushing down on my belly with all their strength. All the while everyone in the room is screaming at me to push, though I am so scared I don't even know if I am doing anything anymore. There was so much pain from the pushing, and the nurses smashing my belly, and the fear. I didn't know what was going on. Perhaps I should have had some drugs.
After a few minutes of insanity Thomas was born. I was then told that he had been a shoulder distocia. Tommy's head came out but his shoulders were stuck. And to make matters worse his umbilical cord was wrapped tightly around his neck twice. The doc didn't want to cut the cord because she didn't know how long he would be stuck. It was a very dire situation for a while there, and I didn't get to see him after he was born. They wisked him down to the NICU where they gave him an IV of sugar water and watched him closely. He was not crying much, was a whitish purple, and was not moving his arms at all. They were afraid his nerves may have been damaged, paralyzing his arms.
After a few hours on the IV he was taken off and I was finally able to see him. I didn't let him out of my arms for a very long while after that. And to think that my biggest fear had been that I would break my tailbone again. A broken tailbone no longer seemed like a big deal.
My recovery from Tommy's birth was virtually non-existent. I was up and walking around immediately and couldn't believe how good I felt. I was taking long walks with my parents and my two boys the day after I came home from the hospital. It was quite different from my first recovery.
Birth #3- My doctor wasn't sure whether we should just do a C-section after my last labor because of the shoulder distocia, so I did my own research. It seemed to me that the distocia happened because I had been lying flat on my back for part of the pushing, and it had nothing to do with the size of the baby or my size. I opted to go for a vaginal delivery again.
I assumed (you know what they say about that, right?) that because the first two boys were early this boy would be early as well. I had been having solid and painful contractions starting a month before my due date, so I was just SURE that baby would be early. Every couple of days I thought I was going into labor. The contractions would keep up for hours, and then just stop.
Three weeks before my due date I began cooking meals and treats for my boys to eat while I was in the hospital. I cleaned the house everyday and made sure everyone had tons of clean clothes and plenty of groceries. I kept that up for three weeks. My due date came and went. A few days after my due date I started acting somewhat hysterical in the doctor's office, half laughing, half crying. My doctor suggested I be induced, though he knew I was opposed to that from the beginning. But I must admit it was starting to sound like a good idea. I said, "I guess I just want reassurance that if I am not induced that... that..." and I couldn't finish my sentence because I was laughing so hard (with tears). Todd finished my sentence for me by saying, "that this baby will eventually come out!" And all I could do was point at Todd, nod my head, and laugh/cry.
That seemed to seal the decision for everyone and I was scheduled for an induction in two days. The night before the induction I was lying on the couch at around 7:00 and felt some light contractions. We put the boys to bed and I continued to time them. They got closer and closer. Still I wasn't sure I was in labor because I had had these types of painful contractions for the last month. I wanted them to be in a very regular pattern before I made my move to the hospital. My parents had planned on coming over at 10:00 and staying the night so that Todd and I could leave in the very early morning. We waited for mom and dad to get to our house and then we decided it was time to leave for the hospital.
I had been contracting for just over three hours (well, a month and three hours) when the nurse
checked me. I was 4 cm. I was so disappointed. I had moved so much quicker with my other boys that I was sure I would have been close to 10 cm already.
The contractions stayed steady but I did not progress much. The doctor on call (AGAIN, not my doctor but yet another lady doctor who did a fine job) broke my water to speed things up. Not much happened. A couple hours later on call doc decided to give me pitocin. That stuff is no joke and really picked up my contractions. I decided to get some IV drugs to help me deal with the pitocin. Though it didn't help that much with the pain it did make me feel kind of drunk in between contractions, and that was fun.
A few hours after the pitocin was started I began pushing. After a short 10 minutes Benjamin shot into this world like a rocket. He was pink and screaming and flailing his arms. My only baby so far to make a good, healthy entrance into the world. And my only baby to get a good solid APGAR (9!) score. I was thrilled.
The recovery was okay. I had a tear that didn't heal properly, but after breaking a tailbone I dealt with the tear fairly well.
So there you have it. Three births, all completely different. I wonder what will be thrown at me this time. It is kind of strange but I almost look forward to the labor. I get such a high afterwards., I feel like superwoman. Like I can do anything. Add to that a brand new, sweet, bundle of joy and you just can't go wrong. As long as everyone ends up healthy it is all good. I'm excited to see how it all pans out this time.
I just can't believe it is only 30 days away.